January 31, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 16°F


DJ group injects big-city flavor into local scene

For Carlos Porras, the ideal party scene would begin with music bumping from outside the club. Massive amounts of people would swarm the entrance door. A single-file line barricaded by red velvet ropes would feature a long line of anxious club-goer’s waiting outside, all eager to enter The Haunt’s magenta strobe-lit room.

Porras, the sales manager at the Hilton Garden Inn, said such a scene would be the mark of success for the event he is co-hosting tomorrow. He is Mr. Ballroom Events by day and DJ Tico — the party promoter and resident club DJ — by night.

Twelve years ago, Porras moved to Ithaca from Costa Rica. Porras said he was surprised that no events, parties or bands had been established for the Latin community before he got here.

“I was shocked, so I decided to throw my own salsa parties,” he said. “After that, people just had me floating around, doing parties here and there.”

Porras went on to host “Salsa Night” at Common Ground in 1997. Every Tuesday night since, he has spun a diverse collection of Latin jazz and salsa music at the nightclub. As of 2007, Porras has also been the regular Thursday night DJ at 2nd Floor Bar.

Senior Ariana Goldstein is a Thursday night regular at 2nd Floor. She said she loves the hip-hop music Porras spins.

“He’s probably the best DJ in Ithaca,” she said. “He plays the newest hip-hop and has the best mixes of classics and new stuff. He knows what he’s doing.”

Friday, Porras and his fellow DJs will host The DJ Studio Annual Party at The Haunt. Last year’s party, held at the Hilton, had a turnout of more than 300 guests.

The DJ company, which operates through its Web site, www.thedjstudio.com, is made up of four DJs from around the East Coast. Porras joined the group in January 2006 representing Ithaca as DJ Tico. DJ B.O.B. is from Albany, N.Y., DJ Manny Styles hails from New York City and the fourth member, DJ Ed Smooth, lives in Miami.

Three out of the four TheDJStudio.com DJs, including Porras, will spin everything from hip-hop to house music. A guest DJ, DJ Hydro from Top Shelf Entertainment — a professional party-planning organization based in Ithaca — will also make an appearance.

DJ B.O.B., whose real name is Robert Mallon, said he and the other DJs are expecting the party to be a huge success.

“We like to plan and promote parties in a professional way,” he said. “Whenever we throw a party we always get two hundred plus people every time.”

Saturday, Porras is bringing a famous nine-man Latin band from Rochester, N.Y., Son Latino, to the Hilton Garden Inn. Between sets, DJ Manny Styles will be performing a mix of popular salsa, meringue, bachata and reggaeton.

Porras said live salsa music mixed with New York City flavor is just what Ithaca needs.

“Some people can’t afford to go see bands play somewhere else,” he said. “You don’t see Latin bands coming that often in Ithaca, and it’s tough to get DJs to come in from big cities. ”

DJ B.O.B. said the parties also serve as an opportunity to promote the group’s Web site.

“The goal is actually to open up our Web site to new networking possibilities,” he said. “We want our guests to check out new music and help us book parties. We are already getting some national success.”

Porras said the two events at The Haunt and the Hilton will be classy with a different style than most Ithaca club parties.

“This is a big deal for our DJ company,” Porras said. “The pictures we take at these parties go on our Web site, and our Web site gets viewed everywhere from Miami up to New York.”

Each DJ will bring a different aspect to the party, with the shared goal of infusing urban nightlife into Ithaca for one weekend.

Sophomore Janine Nixon said she and her friends are eager for the opportunity to party at new venues in Ithaca.

“Give me something to talk about,” she said. “Give me something different and I’ll go.”

TheDJStudio.com’s party is at 10 p.m. tomorrow at The Haunt. The cost is $5 with college ID, $7 without. Son Latino and DJ Manny Styles will perform at 9 p.m. Saturday at the Hilton Garden. The cost is $10 for tickets in advance from the Hilton front desk or $12 at the door.